Former Botswana ambassador to Zimbabwe, Kenny Kapinga has labelled President Ian Khama as an “insecure” man who compromises the freedom of the people of Botswana for his own personal interests.
Kapinga who is also a former Botswana Police Service Deputy Commissioner Operations and a lawyer by profession joined Botswana Congress Party (BCP) on Monday. He joined an opposition party because there are certain consistent behaviours by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) that compromises the freedom of the people of Botswana.
He finds it difficult not to stand up and join those who speak against such practices. He said it has always been easy for him to come forward and say he would rather join the struggle.
For those surprised that somebody who has been in law enforcement at the highest level would be joining an opposition party, Kapinga says it is not about the occupation one was engaged in but a matter of principle.
“I am joining the opposition party to make sure that Botswana returns to its state as a constitutional democracy. I still believe the people of Botswana should live in Freedom, freedom vested upon them by the constitution of this country,” said Kapinga
Kapinga said what is currently happening in Botswana is what was described many years ago by American President, Barack Obama that Africa has unfortunate situation of being led by strong men.
“I do not believe in strong men. I do not believe that any individual should be more powerful than the nation. I do not believe that anybody who has been elected becomes the master of the people who elected them. I believe that whoever is elected to power becomes the servant leader of the people who elected them,” said Kapinga.
He added that what is currently happening in Botswana is a disaster.
“What we see now is a disaster, a disaster where somebody who has been put into office and now holding the nation at ransom; hold the nation in fear; hold his political party in fear; hold the parliament in fear and hold the public service in fear. I do not know even himself I think he lives in his own fear, because when you see the intensification of security measures in a country where there has been no fundamental changes in circumstances except that a new leader has come into power you should know that the person at the top is insecure himself,” said Kapinga.
BCP new recruit says Botswana used to have President Festus Mogae who will go to officers’ mess, enjoy and freely mingle with officers but since 2008 they have seen a securitisation of this country, he says everything has either become state or national security and as a result the people have been deprived of a right to question the decisions by government, to question policies and to question expenditures.
Kapinga condemned President Khama for taking the law into his hands when the courts are there to deal with the matters of the law.
“As a lawyer I find it difficult to watch and accept that justice is okay when due processes of law are not followed. The law has to be respected, how many people have been deported from this country since 2008 compared to the time of the Previous Presidents. Some of them are deported even before they have their day in court, why can’t this government wait until their cases are finalised then that is when a decision can be taken to deport or not to deport,” said Kapinga.
He says a decision to deport people before their cases are complete shows disrespect and lack of confidence in the judicial services, which is not what Kapinga believes on as an individual. He believes that due process of the law must be allowed to take place.
He believes that the President is there to make decisions in the best interest of the country not his own personal interest and not even in the interest of his party.
“Where a constitution provides that judges should be appointed in a certain way- that it is to say the Judicial Service Commission should identify candidates for appointment as judges; and just because someone as the person with powers does not like those who have been nominated he then decide not to consider any of those who have been nominated. In my view that is a violation of our constitution,” he said.
Kapinga said since 2008 he was watching as people were appointed to positions over other people that are better placed and better qualified to occupy such positions,
“We are not going to seat down and watch. I have lived in several countries where I have seen similar things happening, we don’t have to look far, I am talking about those countries that this government point to as shining examples of mis-government and now the current government is doing exactly what they are doing,” Kapinga said.